Imagine yourself lying down at the edge of an anchored boat with the sun above your head, drinking your complimentary drink as you set your eyes on the white sandy shores of Lakawon Island. The cool music being played sets a relaxing tone on board the Tawhai boat as you let the time pass you by.
It is a pure easing moment. This is what to expect in Lakawon Island Resort and Spa – an exciting new travel destination north of Bacolod City. It is a lovely island with white sand beach, blue waters, a long boardwalk and a huge floating bar anchored just a few hundred meters from its shore.
Lakawon Island is a 20-30min outrigger boat trip from Brgy. Cadiz Viejo in the City of Cadiz. It is a family-run business resort whose main attraction is the sand bar and its powdery white sand beach which they say, is comparable to that of Boracay.
Lakawon (Llacaon) is relatively developed. There are a handful of bamboo huts and white tents at the beach front. There are concrete structures built at the eastern side facing the mainland which house the administration and reception offices, as well as rooms for overnight stay. Visitors may not bring food since the resort has a restaurant. But should you decide to bring food and drinks, a corkage fee of Php 50 per person will be collected.
A long boardwalk has already been constructed. At one end, the docking area for the outrigger boats is still being completed. This structure provided an additional aesthetic appeal to Lakawon which makes it all the more different from other resort island destinations.
How to get there?
There are several ways to get to Cadiz Viejo, the jump-off point to Lakawon Island. You need to fly-in to Bacolod City or be in Negros Island. Catch a Ceres Liner Bus that heads to the north western towns of Negros Occidental. Tell the driver that you are getting off at the junction in Brgy. Burgos and that you are heading to Cadiz Viejo. From the junction, there are tricycles that could bring you the resort’s jetty. If you missed the junction, you can also get off at the city proper then take a tricycle (tuktuk) and head off to Cadiz Viejo.
If on a private car, Cadiz Viejo is about 60 km from Bacolod City. Take the national highway that passes through Victorias City then eventually to the City of Cadiz. Turn left at the junction in Brgy. Burgos in Cadiz City. This road will lead you to the Lakawon Island Resort & Spa.
To get to Lakawon Island, you need to pay the following: Entrance Fee: Php 100, Terminal Fee: Php 20, Pump Boat Fee: Php 150 per head, round trip. There is a waiting time for boarding as each boat trip requires a minimum of 10 persons. There is a different rate for boat trips beyond 5PM.
Outrigger boats for Lakawon Island
As to how the island got its name, the locals explained that during low tide, they need to walk farther from the shores of Cadiz Viejo just to get on the boat. Lakawon is a local word which means ‘to walk’. And walk I did when I had this trip in November of 2016.
Lakawon’s White Beach beaming
Lakaw (Walk) towards the beach
The long boardwalk ends at the administration building and the gazebo. Bamboo kiosk and white tents are for rent at Php 600. Should you decide to try out the floating bar, you need to pay Php 250 for the unlimited ride to the anchored boat and back.
I was with my travel buddy’s family and we rented out a bamboo kiosk that was just a few steps from the admin building and from the shore. The tide was high that time and the sandbar was slowly disappearing as the sun was getting higher.
The bamboo kiosks facing the beach and the mainland
Lakawon’s white sand and boardwalk
Should you decide to take a day trip to Lakawon Island, do come and visit early in the morning. The kiosks and the tents are a bit limited and there’s not much trees on the eastern side of the island. Activities on Lakawon are also limited to just enjoying the waters, photo-ops and just idling the time. Food and drinks are readily available at their restaurant so you don’t have to worry on what to eat for lunch or snacks.
When in Lakawon Island, try out their Tawhai floating bar. Tawhai – a varied form of the Visayan term tawhay, means orderly or relaxed. And this is what the floating bar is all about.
A view of Tawhai from the transfer boat
The inviting hammocks, bean bags and couches
View of Lakawon Island from Tawhai’s Bar
My travel buddy and her family decided to stay in Lakawon to look after their kids. So I tried Tawhai all by myself. The ticket for the floating bar included a complimentary drink. The best way to enjoy Tawhai is to lie down on a couch or hammock, under a piece of canvas, watching the island from a distance and basically do nothing else but to relax and savor the moment.
The best portion of the boat for chilling out
Oppie enjoying his time on board Tawhai
The front deck
A perfect place to unwind and to clear my mind of stressful things. Tawhai’s calm setting could easily provide you with clarity and peace of mind, even for a few hours or so. I finished up my bottle of beer and hopped off from Tawhai, returning to Lakawon’s white beach by mid afternoon.
I am quite certain, I will visit Lakawon Island once again.